If you read/listened my blog post yesterday you’ll know that I was attending the HelpStream webinar that was supposed to discuss if Social CRM has Crossed the Chasm. As I listened and tweeted about the webinar conversation I came to a few conclusions:
- Social CRM is far from the chasm. If Social CRM were a marathon runner it would still be tying it’s shoes, stretching before the race has even started.
- Companies, including those that are building so-called Social CRM applications, do not understand what Social CRM is all about. Most, including those who spoke in today’s webinar, were describing what I refer to as Social Support Communities (SSC).
- Companies must be careful about preaching engagement when they are not prepared to listen.
Social CRM is far from the chasm
While the webinar was supposed to focus on Social CRM’s location in regards to the chasm no one discussed this, or even attempted to answer the question at all. The core question failed to be addressed….
As I noted yesterday, CRM Software has been across the chasm for years. The successful implementation of CRM, and for that matter Social CRM, is far from the chasm. It does not see the chasm, it is still waiting for directions.
Social Support Communities are not Social CRM
Every participant in the webinar discussed their use, or their support of, Social CRM. However, as the concepts were discussed it became clear that they were all discussing SSC. Since I have never defined this term before, let’s clarify:
- SSC is a discussion group, a forum, on steroids.
- SSC incorporates social networks as additional channels through which customer conversations can occur.
- SSC enables customers to directly converse with other customers. Companies and partners can also be equal participants in this conversation, but are often playing the role of moderators in the examples provided by the webinar participants.
- SSC is a small subset of Social CRM, a very small subset.
- SSC focuses on the customer almost exclusively, ignoring in large part, other participants in the marketplace including the company, partners, and competitors.
- SSC focuses on customer support services. It fails to provide value in marketing, sales, finance, or other aspects where CRM is utilized.
Eat your own dogfood. If you preach engagement, engage, listen.
Throughout the webinar several people, myself included, challenged the conclusions being drawn during the webinar. As is typical, I will raise concerns if I do not feel the full story is being told. At around 1:30 PM ET my Social CRM friend Esteban noted “@JohnFMoore webinar as well as most published case studies are about communities – not SCRM. SCRM not yet done #scrm #scrmseries #scrm”.
At around the same time I noted, also on Twitter: “RE http://bit.ly/KZ0UL(expand) @gyehuda Yes, true. However, this #scrmseries addresses #social support communities, not #scrm” .
If you are a Social CRM, or SSC, company engaging in a webinar about Social CRM you must be proactive in engaging, communicating, relationship building. Leaving open questions like this in the market speaks more to a company working with old models of preaching messages vs. the new world where companies are expected to listen. Time will tell how this all shapes up, I’m not impressed yet.